Small steps..

The accepted wisdom is that all journey’s start with one small step.  I have often found that a good kick in the seat of your pants is another way to get a journey started. So far, this journey has been of the small step variety.  What journey is this that we am embarking on?  If you have been a constant or an intermittent reader, you won’t be surprised by the next few sentences.  Last month we (DW and I) went to Tampa for five days to escape New Jersey and this colder than normal winter. While we were in Tampa, we bought a Sun Pass for our rental car.

Oh, big deal, a Sun Pass. What is a Sun Pass? It is like an EZ here in the North East except it only works in Florida (I think). Basically you can go through the toll plaza without stopping and the electronic tag is recorded and your account is debited for the toll. Nice and easy.  How many times have we been in Florida and not had a Sun Pass? Without it, the car rental agency helps themselves to your credit card to pay the tolls. With an “administrative fee” attached.  No more of that fee for me.

The next step was having my DW looking into what she would have to do to get a Florida nursing license. All they want is money (surprised?)  Send in you fee, provide proof of a valid nursing license from another state and a copy of your finger prints and you too could have a Florida nursing license.  Small steps.

The final step for the last two weeks was to look at a few hospital websites for job openings. We have also spent a few hours looking at real estate listings near the hospitals. Next week we will speak with a builder in the neighborhood and get an idea of upgrades and fixes that will allow us to sell our current house.

There you go, a plan in action. This blog will be a forum for the journey.

Pictures?  Sure, here are a few from Clearwater Beach, sunset time.

Here is a link to all the Clearwater Beach Pictures via Drop Box

Thanks for reading


Is the BS in heaven?

BS is that small, usually stupid, often nagging problem that really does not have to be a problem. Hopefully your days are not peppered with them like a piece of salami.  Set the hook, let it run, then reel like crazy until they are flopping on the deck.  Time to reel.. 

I have been absent from the blog world for the last month. When we last visited we had slogged through a snow storm where the plow drivers were seemingly off for the day to watch the NFL at Buffalo Wild Wings (or their favorite bar). About that time both of the college students were done with classes and heading either home or to visit LI and then head home. On December 14, my DW’s step father in law passed away. Nine days before Christmas. He had been suffering from “Old Man’s Disease” and had pretty much decided he was done and stopped eating. We all attended that wake, funeral and burial.

On December 23, my DW’s mother went in the emergency room since she had not been able to urinate for four days. Back in the fall she was diagnosed with cancer and had “parts” removed. You really don’t need the gory details and out of respect to her and the family, I will gloss over the details.  Suffice it to say, the cancer came back with a vengeance. We were in and out of the hospital between December 23 and January 3 when she died in the hospital. Monday and Tuesday this week were the wake and the burial.

To say we are in shock is an undersatement. I took DS2 back to school this morning. DS3 does not return for a few more weeks. Over their Christmas break, the kids lost their two remaining grandparents. That sucks.

Christmas and New Years?  A complete blur.  I took pictures at Christmas, I will share them when we can get back to that happy place.

We would like to thank the staff of Four East at Ocean Medical Center in Brick, NJ for their excellent care and compassion of our mother (in law)

And we may have found a reasonably local church to attend. The Visitation Church in Brick, NJ provided the priest that said the Last Rites and the deacon that said the prayers at the funeral home. We found a connection to the message that both of them shared with us.

So my parents are in heaven as are hers. I hope they meet up and swap some stories.




Time to write..

I guess somebody out there is wondering, Dude, no blogs for two and a half weeks and now three in one day?   Well, yes, actually.

We are waiting in the Jersey Shore Hospital family and friends waiting room, surgery suites. My DW, her sister and husband are here as well.  Without details of the who and why, we are here.  Hopefully everything goes well. My immediate family will get an email today with the details. Are you family? Feel free to email me directly.

Ahh, here are a few family pictures. See the captions.



Back to school specials..

Did you participate in the back to school madness this year or have you escaped the back to school grind?  Here is Manahawkin, the grind appears to be over.  This past Sunday both of the college students packed their cars and drove back to Scranton. DS2 returned to Marywood University for his senior year. DS3 returned to the University of Scranton for his junior year. Right after they left we (DW and I) went food shopping.  As we are getting ready to leave, I glanced at her shopping list, it was still quite extensive. I asked, “If both of the boys went back to school, why is our list so long?” Her reply, “Well, they took everything with them!” Good point.

Our back to school shopping does not/did not include the Wal-Mart or Target. We were shopping in both stores over the last week and watched the families with children in tow choosing paper, pens, notebooks, backpacks.. The list goes on. In our world, back to school starts in July with student loan paperwork. Then the parents and students have to survive August. We had a car accident with DS2’s car. The damage was minor, the other party lives locally and were ok.  DS3 had the passenger window on his Mustang come off the track and fall apart. After 250 dollars and at least 8 hours of my life, the window goes up and down (more than once).

Oil changes, windshield wipers, brakes and headlights… The list goes on and on. Our shopping for back to school is just a bit more expensive than the Wal-Mart or Target families.

We are heading back to Scranton Sunday to see them. Yes, it has only been a week. And no, we are not in withdrawal.  Sunday is the Italian Festival in downtown Scranton. There are supposed to be fireworks Sunday night. I need to figure out where the fireworks will be. We are planning on dinner at Doc Magrogan’s Seafood House.  This Sunday and Monday they have their Buck A Shuck oyster sale.  Shucked oysters will be a dollar a piece. I’m looking forward to that.

Buried deep in tonight’s blog is a sidenote about the LimeGuy being diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. I’m not sure if this is the proper forum for this sidenote. This entry into the A Fib club has curtailed my lacrosse playing for the time being.  I did attend yoga for the first time in three weeks tonight. It was nice to do something active (yes, yoga is active) again. My knees have healed from the fall I took while playing lacrosse in Lake Placid three weeks ago. All I need is the all clear from the cardiologist and I will be back to playing. Further medical details can be shared by you the reader, emailing, texting or calling me directly.

Here are a few pictures from the back to school weekend with the boys.  Here is a Drop Box link to the entire group of pictures.

Thanks for reading,


Sandy, Post 3..

Survivor guilt?  You have heard of it, I’m sure. Maybe not that extreme, but, over the last two or three days as I have done my shopping and bar hopping (just tonight), I have spoken with lots of people. Everyone has a story to share. Most make leave you feeling two things, one is sad for their loss and the other feeling is that you are fortunate you are doing ok.  many, and I mean, many, of the people in my area are still without power. Some say that they can see the lights on one or two blocks over, yet they suffer in the dark. My DW went to visit her mom in Brick where they hope to have the power back on Wednesday.

Yesterday’s blog left with Sandy coming ashore, my DW and I in a bar in Scranton with about 50 IBEW electricians who had been collected from as far west as Wisconsin. These electricians were having their last night of fun before the storm passed and they had to get to work.  We had also dropped off DS2 at his dorm (the scene of the crime).

Tuesday morning in Scranton was… anyone? Bueller?, Bueller? Somebody say it!  Yes, it was cold and grey, thank you! We left the hotel, Northern Lights was closed, Coney Island Lunch was closed (it was early). I challenge you to find a decent cup of coffee in Scranton either on a weekend or a weekend like day (see Hurricane Sandy). We wound up at the new Turkey Hill near the Scranton High School. Gas for the car, coffee and “passable” breakfast sandwiches  were purchased. We then drove the 200 miles back to Manahawkin.

The ride home was uneventful We texted both Scranton children before we left town. I would say, that we woke both of them up!  When we got home, the house looked intact, dark, but intact. DS1 wanted to know why we hurried home from Scranton where they had power and such to be home in the dark. I think we needed to be reassured that things at home were ok.  My DW was on call at her hospital this week. Since the land lines and cell phones were not working consistently, she went into work at 3 pm on Tuesday afternoon. She stayed in the hospital until 8 am the following morning. They did not have any cases, but they were on-site f they were needed.

She came home and spent the day with us, in the dark. She went back into work for 4 pm on Wednesday, for another overnight call shift. The power came back on around 5 pm Wednesday. 48 ish hours after it went out. We are lucky. No doubt about it. We lost very little as far as food goes. Wednesday afternoon DS1, my DW and I cleaned up the leaves, branches and twigs from the from front yard. After my DW went to work, DS1 and I had a steak dinner since the steaks had thawed out in the upstairs freezer. After dinner we had a fire in the back year to burn some of the twigs and branches that Sandy had dropped in the front yard.

Thursday, my DW stayed at work until 4 pm. DS1 went to work for the first time in 5 days. Me, I worked from home. The office has no electic, phones or internet. There were two other employees that showed up on the instant messenger. Between us we handled the calls that came in via email.  This was extra challenging since we had no access to the corporate help desk where the user and password information is stored.

Oh, we missed Tuesday night yoga. That was supposed to be the final session of the six-week set. I wonder if they will make it up, or is the session lost for good.

Here are a few more pictures. Two are from Scranton Monday afternoon. The one with the fire is from Wednesday night.





Sandy, Post 2…

Thankful, that is the word for this week. Thankful that the power is back on (for us). Thankful that everyone in our family is safe. And thankful that we did not get water in the basement.  In that order, maybe not. The power being back on is way up there, though.   Yesterday’s blog ended with Sunday night, sleeping in Scranton, PA, after spending a frantic afternoon driving to Scranton and making sure that DS2 was ok and getting the proper (and best) care.

Monday morning was grey in Scranton. I could write that sentence everyday and be right two-thirds of the time.  We called over to the hospital at 8 am and the nurses told my DW that DS2 was off to have his MRI done. We checked out of our hotel since they would not give us the same rate as the previous night. We moved across the street for the same price. Just as nice. After coffee and a breakfast sandwich we got to the hospital as DS2 was returning to his room. He had just finished having the MRI and EKG done.  We hung around with him all morning and then the EEG tech came by and did that test. Several doctors and residents came by over the course of the morning. All asking essentially the same questions.  The highlight of the morning was having hot dogs from Coney Island Lunch (for lunch).

Around 3 pm the neurologist came by, the same one from Sunday afternoon. He had looked at the test results and did not have a definitive answer. He said either it was a case of sleep walking or a seizure disorder that does not cause you to flop around, but causes you to lose track of time. He could find no evidence to support one reason over the other. So, he sent us on our way. We will continue to monitor things. Maybe this was a one time episode. Hopefully. 

We dropped him off at school so he could visit with his friends and tell the story of his hospital stay. We headed down to the hotel for the night. We got to the hotel around 5 pm. It had been raining all day. Both children’s universities had been closed for the day. We went down to the bar to find a drink and some dinner. As we sat there watching the weather channel chronicle Sandy’s landfall 30 miles south of our home, we ate dinner.  During dinner the bar started to fill up with power crews from as far west as Wisconsin. Everybody was having one last fun night waiting for the next day when they would start putting the power grid back together in New York State.

After dinner we spoke with DS1 about conditions at home. He said there was no water coming in, but that he had lost power around 4 pm Monday afternoon.  We spoke with DS3, he was playing video games with his friends. We figured no reason to drag him out into the storm to see us. We watched some tv and went to bed.

I did not take any pictures on Monday. We were a bit on edge wondering what the doctors and their tests might find. All clear, for now. Here is a picture from Face Book of DS2 in his tuxedo. Enjoy!


Sandy, Post 1..

I’m thinking that this Sandy topic will take two, maybe three nights to tell the tale.  You probably have seen the pictures on tv or the internet showing the devastation of the Jersey Shore. We are fortunate that we live 7 miles from the ocean. The waves did not make it that far.  My previous post was entitled Hype or Hide. I guess in retrospect, hide was what happened. So to start this tale we go back to Sunday, around noontime (cue the time traveling music)

It’s noon time Sunday, the wind has been picking up all morning. No rain yet. All of our pre-hurricane preparations are complete. My cell phone rings, a number that I don’t know shows on the call id. I answer the phone, it is DS2’s girlfriend on the phone. Hmmm.  I ask how she is, she is fine, but my son is going by ambulance to the local emergency room.  Ummm. Ok. I said wait a minute, and I handed the phone to my DW, who is a nurse. She listens and asks a few questions and then hangs up. They found DS2 sitting in the lobby of his dorm, no shoes, id or cell phone. He was just sitting there in a stupor. He had no idea where he was or how he got there. The head of the dorm came down and spoke with him and decided to send him to the hospital.

Ok, college kid, Sunday morning, looking like he was under the influence, I get it. Wrong child for that diagnoses (so far).  We (my DW and I) packed a bag, changed our clothes, left DS1 with some hurried hurricane instructions and rolled out-of-town heading north. The ride to Scranton is 190 miles, one way. Sunday was the final pre-hurrincane evacuation day. All the people getting out-of-town were headed north, just like us. We made a few calls while we were driving up and got one of my cousins to go over to the hospital and check on him. We also set DS3 over to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital we found out from DS3 that his brother was fine and he was going back to school to work on some homework. My cousin and DS2’s girlfriend and another friend were in the emergency room talking to DS2. He seemed fine when we got there. Then again is was three hours after the initial phone call. We asked some questions of DS2 to understand what was going on.

He woke up and went back to bed several times Sunday morning. The last time he woke up around 10 am he sat at his computer to play some games. The next thing he remembers is sitting in the lobby with the head of the dorm talking to him. He had “lost” those two hours.  He was disoriented and agitated. He started to “come out of the fog” as they were putting him in the ambulance to take him to the hospital.  How odd.

We met with the emergency room doctor and a neurologist. They decided to keep him for the night and do some tests on Monday morning. He seemed fine to me. He was talking and acting like his normal self.  After we got him settled in his room we went out for dinner with DS3.  We watched the end of the Giants game, ate and went to our hotel. I think the two of us were asleep by 9:30 pm. What a crazy day.

Here is a few pictures from the hospital. Tomorrow’s blog will take us through Monday. Enjoy!





Yoga and a Klondike Bar..

Perfect together? They were tonight. Somewhere along the way over the last two or three days my DW and I did something (alone or together?) that has caused various back discomfort. I think her neck is sore. I asked “What did you do?” She said, “I turned my head getting out of the shower” Yep, does it every time. Me, I think the 120 plus shots on the goal Sunday afternoon may have been a few too many. Like most things, I go from almost or none to ballistic. Usually some part of my body complains. Oh well..

We did go to yoga tonight. It seemed to me that the focus was on the lower back. Stretching and breathing.  Maybe that was exactly what I needed. Ask me tomorrow how I feel.  My DW slept with the Tiger Balm on last night. She seems somewhat better today. That’s a good thing.  She skipped yoga last night due to the discomfort.

Monday night lacrosse was nothing special. I got to run around, take some shots, drop some passes. An average night for me. I did get an assist last night. No injuries during the game, a plus. 

Work.. For me, stopped and started. All busy then all not. No evenness to the work flow. My DW had two full days. Tomorrow night the hospital is having a women’s health fair. She is working the fair.  They have no cases scheduled for tomorrow and only two scheduled for Thursday. But Friday, you can almost guarantee that they will be working overtime. Crazy! 

Children.. DS1 went out last night to watch some Monday Night Football. He locked his keys in the car in front of the house. He was an hour plus late getting on the road this morning. As a side note, he needed that extra hour’s sleep. DS2 sent me a picture of the snow crab claws that were served at dinner Monday night. He said they were good. He also asked that we bring his snow boats up to Scranton. Apparently, he will need them at Thanksgiving when he spends Thanksgiving with his girlfriend and her family in upstate New York.  DS3, not much new news to report. He is working hard in his classes. He posted a picture of a girl on Face Book. I think she is the sister of one of last year’s girl friends. No mention about dating or anything like that. Just a picture.  Writer’s note: I was informed she is just a friend!

Tonight’s picture comes from our most recent trip to Scranton. Here are the Scranton boy’s waiting for their dinner.



Walk a half mile in my shoes..

And then walk back  to the beginning.  This evening my DW and I went for a walk on the beach after dinner. It is funny that we don’t do this more often since the beach is only 7 miles away. Note to self: walk on the beach more often before it gets too cold.  One of the reasons we walked tonight was to stretch my leg out after not really exercising much for the last three weeks.  Tomorrow night I plan on playing lacrosse with DS3 and hopefully my brother the weatherman. Note to my brother: I will have some cucumbers for you tomorrow night. His cucumbers did not flourish like ours did this year.

On our drive to the beach we stopped by the B&B Department Store to see DS3 at his place of employment. Tonight was his last day of work for the summer. Note to DS3: your careless driving ticket cost 87 dollars to pay. See the receipt in the Drop Box. Wow, I’m full of side bars tonight. Sorry for the tangents.  He would not let me use the bathroom at his job. They don’t have “Public Restrooms”. I told him I was not the public, I was his father. It did not matter. I got the whole story about safety and blah, blah..  They also did not have any hats that fit my head. I have a rather xl or xl plus sized head. No wonder I never shopped there before.

Work for me was crazy, again. I just smile and do my thing. The call situation is a little clearer today. Seems that one of the two support people not currently in the call rotation will now become part of it. The other person is going back to college and will only be working part-time. There are still a few more fish to fry on this topic with Lumbergh. I have not yet surrendered.

My DW worked most of the day. It seems that the bean counters are finally looking at her unit and the overtime situation.  The overtime situation for me is great. The extra pay always helps. The hospital does not seem committed to solving the problem, just making it look like they are doing something. The doctors dictate the schedule and have done so for years. The hospital has to staff for the doctors needs without concern for overtime. Good luck solving that one.

DS2 just got home from the deli. He has two more days of work to go. DS1 has one more day to go as the boss man. He said that he and some of the “south of the border” employees shared a watermelon at the end of the day.  They do not put hot sauce on  watermelon. Only on cucumbers.

Tonight’s picture is of my DW on the beach in Ship Bottom, NJ.  Enjoy!



Lumbergh is going to make me work..

This weekend, I just know it. Ahh. Another gratuitous quote from the movie Office Space.  Where reality and Dilbert meet to form the perfect place of employment. So, Mr. Lumbergh or the guy with the pointy hair from Dilbert, or whatever you might call your boss, sent one of those emails today.  What, you say that you own the business? Then you probably have sent that email, or several of them.  This particular email informed us non-support types that we would be expected to start picking up after hours call shifts.

Hmmm, the email said that the support department was basically  down to four people so they have to take after hours call once a month. Basically, in that sentence means, kind of, but not exactly. Seems there are two support people that don’t have to take after hours call. Why? Should I ask? I will. I’m not interested or excited about working after hours call. The extra pay is not that good, and you never know what will “walk through the door”. If I’m taking call, then the other two people in support will also. Share the wealth, as it were. We were supposed to have a meeting today at 2 pm to discuss this. You can gather that the meeting did not take place.  File this topic under “too be continued”.

My DW worked a few hours in the middle of the day.  The chief doctor on Tuesday’s had the day off. That left a few cases to be done in the middle of the day.  DS2 had the day off. His car went back to shop and got new exhaust parts and tires. Hopefully this will keep him going until next summer.  DS1, boss man, once again. It’s funny, when he is in charge, he is home at a decent hour.  He took some cucumbers into work to share with his employees. They took the cucumbers and removed the skin and sliced them up and smothered them in hot sauce. Then they devoured them with “mucho gusto”.

DS3 worked the day shift today. Tonight is date night with his girlfriend. They went to dinner and now they are basking in the hot tub. Tick, tock, tick, tock. College time is coming soon.

Tonight’s picture is of some of the items that my DW has collected for the Barnegat Food Pantry. She is on a committee at work and she accepted the challenge to run a food bank drive during August in her hospital They have another two weeks to go. The donations started out slow, but they continue to come in.  Good job honey!  Enjoy!




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